The longing is to be pure. What you get is to be changed.
Attachments slip through my fingers,
like sand, like water.
Some holdouts get snagged:
the scale, covering the grays, the calories
burned on the elliptical.
The body, the body, my friends
in bikinis, the iPad camera snapping snapping.
The dock, the lake, Sunny the dog,
all lit from within like an early Church
painting, like these women,
my women, waves breaking.
One smokes cigarettes,
Something I can do that won’t make me gain weight.
One just ended radiation
ribs showing through her back like a shipwreck.
One with pendulous breasts, belly, ambrosial,
almost naked all weekend, down around the edges arrowing
the whole womanly riddle.
She worries the rest of us a little, the way she sparks.
Another bikini, chartreuse, string.
Lithe, each muscle visible, hand to abs,
strumming out her song,
I really haven’t eaten in three days,
and the adolescent
ducks paddle by.
We’re sliding, some holding on until fingers bleed,
some letting go
careening slamming slapping crashing but always
turning turning. Through.
A native New Yorker, Erica Bodwell is a poet and attorney living in Concord, New Hampshire. She has poems appearing or forthcoming in Red River Review, Crack the Spine, Emerge Literary Journal, The Orange Room Review and FictionWeek.